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Information for asylum seekers in Kazakhstan

1. The Republic of Kazakhstan has acceded to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and has a 2009 law "On Refugees" that entered into force in 2010. As such, all claims for asylum should be made to the Migration Service Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

2. If you believe that upon return to your country of origin, you will be persecuted for reasons of race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, you may submit an asylum claim to the local department of the Migration Service Committee within five calendar days of your arrival to Kazakhstan or from the moment you have learnt that you may be subjected to persecution in your country of origin. In case of forced illegal crossing of the State Border of the Republic of Kazakhstan by an asylum-seeker, an asylum claim shall be filed within 24 hours at the Migration Service. After the registration of your asylum claim, you will be issued an asylum-seeker's certificate, which will provide you with a legal status to remain in Kazakhstan until the final determination of your asylum claim.

3. After the registration of your asylum application, you will be invited for an interview with a Migration Service Officer. During the interview, you will have to state why you are in need of asylum in Kazakhstan and present all documents supporting your identity and asylum claim. You have the obligation to be truthful in all aspects of your personal information and claim, as well as to relate the full facts and circumstances of your claim. Failure to do so may lead to the rejection of your asylum claim.

4. Within three months of the registration of your asylum application, the State Refugee Status Determination Commission should issue a decision on your application. In some cases, when additional review is needed, a decision may be issued up to one year from your initial application.

5. If you are recognized as a refugee, you will be informed about this in person by the Migration Service. You will be issued a refugee certificate and provided with information on your status, rights and obligations in Kazakhstan as a refugee by the Migration Service.

6. If your application is rejected, you will receive written notification with the reasons for rejection. If you believe that you have been issued with an erroneous decision, you have the right to appeal the negative decision within 3 months from your receipt of the decision in the higher authorized body and/or in a court. Any assistance in appealing your decision should be addressed to our partner organization, the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law (BHR).

7. The appeal procedure is comprised of one administrative instance and four judicial instances. The administrative appeal may be made directly to the Migration Service Committee, which is considered in Astana. You may appeal simultaneously to both administrative and judicial appeals instances. The four judicial appeal instances are as follows:
• First judicial instance (District Court)
• Second judicial instance (Appellate Judicial Board of the City/Oblast Court)
• Third judicial instance (Cassation Judicial Board of the City/Oblast Court, considered the final instance with suspensive effect)
• Fourth judicial instance (Supervisory Judicial Board of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan, which is a review instance focused mainly on procedure).

8. Failure to abide by the laws of Kazakhstan on the appeal deadlines and procedure may lead you to lose your legal status as an asylum-seeker. If you do not appeal, this will constitute an abandonment of your asylum claim. You will not be considered an asylum-seeker and will be subject to forced removal by the authorities and/or fines.

9. If you receive a final rejection at the third or fourth judicial instance (Cassation Judicial Board of the City/Oblast Court or Supervisory Judicial Board of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan) and still believe the decision was erroneous, please contact UNHCR.

10. As an asylum-seeker, you have the following rights in accordance with the laws of Kazakhstan. You have the right to access free interpretation/translation services and information about the refugee status determination procedure, asylum-seeker rights and responsibilities from the Migration Service; to apply for refugee status through consular bodies of the Republic of Kazakhstan; to withdraw your refugee status application; to appeal the rejection decision issued by the Migration Service; to reside in the Republic of Kazakhstan until a final decision is made on your refugee status application, including appeal periods; to voluntary return your country of origin or voluntarily depart to another country; to health services in accordance with the healthcare legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan; to freedom of employment and entrepreneurship in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan; to judicial protection of property and personal non-property rights and benefits. You also have other rights and freedoms as well as responsibilities provided by the Constitution, laws and international treaties of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

11. As an asylum-seeker, you have the following obligations in accordance with the laws of Kazakhstan. You have the obligation to provide complete and truthful information of your asylum claim; to undergo a mandatory medical examination according to the terms and procedures provided by the authorised healthcare body; to comply with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan; to inform the authorised body on any intention to leave the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan; to de-register with the authorised body and interior affairs bodies in the case of a change of address in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan and to respectively re-register within 5 working days as of your arrival at the new place of residence.

Contact information

  • Migration Services Department of the Almaty Department of Internal Affairs 109a Karasay Batyr Street, +7(727) 292-42-18.  
  • Migration Services Department of the Almaty Oblast Department of Internal Affairs, Taldykorgan city, Balpyk bi str 36, +7(727) 298-52-31.
  • Migration Services Department of Astana Department of Internal Affairs, Imanov str 31, +7(7172) 71-61-05, 71-61-21, 71-63-11.
  •  Migration Services Department of Shymkent Department of Internal Affairs, Zheltoksan str 3, +7(7252) 97-67-67, 35-39-88; 

If you need legal assistance, please contact UNHCR’s partner organization, Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law (BHR):

  • Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law (BHR), House 4a, Office 423, 8th Microdistrict, Almaty, +7(727) 2496044. Kazybek bi str 49, office 44, Shymkent, +7(701)5589253.

If you are a registered asylum-seeker or refugee and in need of financial, medical, or other forms of material assistance, and if you have questions related to education, please contact UNHCR’s partner organization, the Kazakhstan Red Crescent Society:

  • Kazakhstan Red Crescent Society, 86 Kunaev Street, First Floor, Almaty, +7(727) 2913791.

For any other issues related to asylum, please contact UNHCR:

  • UNHCR Representation in Kazakhstan, 14, Mambetov Str., Astana. Tel: +7(7172) 696545

In case of emergency, please call UNHCR’s hotline: +77017447238

Detailed information for asylum seekers in Arabic, Chinese, Dari, English, Kazakh, Uighur, Uzbek and Russian

July 2018

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